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Migration, Human Capital Formation, and Growth: An Empirical Investigation


  • Di Maria, Corrado
  • Lazarova, Emiliya A.


We study the effect of skilled emigration on human capital formation and growth in a sample of developing countries. We find that the migration rate exerts statistically significant effects on both the level and the composition of human capital. We are able to trace the impact of these changes on the growth rate of sending countries via regression analysis and simulations. Our results show that while there are both winners and losers, almost 70% of the population in our sample suffers lower growth as a consequence of skilled migration. Moreover, the losses are concentrated in countries with low levels of technological sophistication.

Suggested Citation

  • Di Maria, Corrado & Lazarova, Emiliya A., 2012. "Migration, Human Capital Formation, and Growth: An Empirical Investigation," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(5), pages 938-955.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:40:y:2012:i:5:p:938-955
    DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2011.11.011

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Chepel, S. & Bondarenko, K., 2015. "Is the External Labor Migration an Economic Growth Factor: Econometric Analysis and Policy Implications for the CIS Countries," Journal of the New Economic Association, New Economic Association, vol. 28(4), pages 142-166.
    2. Michael A. Clemens, 2016. "Losing our minds? New research directions on skilled emigration and development," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 37(7), pages 1227-1248, October.
    3. Heuer, Nina, 2011. "The effect of occupation-specific brain drain on human capital," University of Tuebingen Working Papers in Economics and Finance 7, University of Tuebingen, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences.
    4. Bredtmann, Julia & Martínez Flores, Fernanda & Otten, Sebastian, 2016. "Remittances and the Brain Drain: Evidence from Microdata for Sub-Saharan Africa," IZA Discussion Papers 10367, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. repec:eee:injoed:v:55:y:2017:i:c:p:56-62 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Mawussé K. N. Okey, 2017. "Does migration promote industrial development in Africa?," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 37(1), pages 228-247.
    7. repec:spr:scient:v:101:y:2014:i:3:d:10.1007_s11192-014-1307-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Herbst, Mikolaj & Rok, Jakub, 2013. "Mobility of human capital and its effect on regional economic development. Review of theory and empirical literature," MPRA Paper 45755, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. repec:eee:wdevel:v:96:y:2017:i:c:p:438-450 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:5:p:676-:d:96676 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    education; brain drain; migration; human capital; economic growth; Asia; Africa; South America;

    JEL classification:

    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General


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